So Natrel just released Lactose-Free Butter. LACTOSE-FREE BUTTER!
I stuffed my daughter in the car (buckled her up tight) and proceeded to buy 5 packages.
I also brought the ingredients for these shortbread cookies and a baguette.
First I ate few hunks of baguette spread with glorious butter. Then I whipped up these whipped shortbread cookies.
They are one of the first Christmas Cookies I made on my own as a little girl. And they’re still my favourite today. The recipe hails from The Harrowsmith Cookbook, and credit is given to Shirley Hill of Picton Ontario.
They are very delicious, very easy and always a huge hit.
The key to these is to really beat them between ingredients. Don’t stop when the ingredients are mixed, give them a minute or more to beat at each step.
Today I finished the cookies with chunks of Purdy’s dark chocolate and makde a few with a little candied cherry on tip.
I know I mentioned beating after every ingredient…I’m repeating myself so you take me seriously. THIS IS THE SECRET TO THE BEST WHIPPED SHORTBREAD EVER.
1/2 lb. Butter
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 cup flour
First, beat butter until light.
Then add the remaining ingredients one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Next, roll into small balls and flatten with a fork (or just drop them – that’s what I do).
Bake at 300
F for 30 min. Keep an eye on the cookies because they look the best when they come out before they brown.
Makes about 3 dozen cookies.
I’m so excited to be sharing recipes from fellow Canadian bloggers under the hashtag #CANRecipe. Food that will give you a flavour of the season – Christmas Classics straight from our kitchens.
From the top left the dishes are:
Nanaimo Truffles @ Dish’n’ the Kitchen
Dipped Oreos @ The Inspired Home
Mulled Wine @ Maple and Marigold
Bacon Fried Rice @ Allergy Girl Eats
Coles Pudding @ Off The Porch
Chocolate covered Whiskey-Soaked Figs @ Everday Allergen Free
Shortbread Cookies @ Mommydo
Why is it called Weeknight Easy Turkey Chili?
I classify recipes three ways: Weekend. Weekend Easy and Weeknight Easy.
Weekend recipes tend to only be made on Saturdays and Sundays. Weekend easy recipes are involved for weeknights, but they still make their way in rotation.
But weeknight easy recipes are the ones we eat all the time. These recipes need to be quick. They must be made with ingredients usually have on hand. And they need to be good. Preferably really good.
This Weeknight Easy Turkey Chili is all three. It doesn’t matter if you swap an ingredient, add a little less or a little more of your favourite parts or even add extra liquid and pasta to make a Turkey Chili Soup. As we’re heading into winter, this is definitely a keeper for those busy, cold Wednesday nights when you’re sitting staring at each other saying “what do you want for dinner” and “I don’t know, what do YOU want for dinner”.
Prep time: about 15 min + min 20 minutes simmer time.
1 package ground turkey
1 med onion
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
2 cups chicken broth
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
1 can black beans (drained and rinsed)
1 can chick peas (drained and rinsed)
1 cup frozen corn
3 clove garlic
3 tbls chilli powder
1 tbls cumin
Fresh ground pepper
Dice the onion and throw it in the pan as you brown the turkey.
Once it’s browned and the onions are translucent, toss them in a large pot.
Dice the peppers and add them to the pot too.
Toss in the broth, diced tomatoes, and tomato paste.
Rinse and drain the chick peas and black beans and pop them in there too.
Toss in about a cup of frozen corn.
Put 3 cloves of garlic into a garlic press and into the pot it goes.
Add the spices + salt and pepper to taste.
Simmer for a min of 20 minutes.
Garnish with any combination of avocado, sour cream, cheese, crunchy tortillas or crusty bread.
I’m pretty sure you’ll enjoy this as much as we do (pretty much every week).
Today I’m glad to be sharing recipes from fellow Canadian bloggers under the hashtag #CANRecipe. November is the unofficial start of winter across the country and what better way to get ready for the season than with delicious food straight from our kitchens.
From the top the dishes are:
Easy Weeknight Turkey Chili @ Mommydo
Grape Jelly Meatballs @ The Inspired Home
Puffball Mushroom Soup @ OffThePorch.ca
Creamy Curry Meat Soup @ Allergy Girl Eats
Moong Dal (Indian Lentil Soup) @ Maple and Marigold
Chicken Pot Pie @ Red Cottage Chronicles
Pumpkin Molasses Muffins @ Everyday Allergen Free
Most people look forward to the big show at Thanksgiving. The main feast. But I think the sandwiches the day after are the best. This recipe is the Best Sandwich Bread Ever. It’s not the prettiest loaf, but it’s my favourite ever, just the same.
It is a bread machine recipe, which is what makes the loaves a little funny looking but I find, if you want to serve it with the big feast, putting the sliced bread on the table helps take eyes off the tall, slightly misshapen loaf.
The key to the recipe is very warm tap water – much warmer than you’d think. When the water is nice and toasty, the yeast bubbles up nicely and the bread you get is fluffier. Yum.
The only downside is that sometimes it gets a little ‘fluffier’ than you expect. That nice tall loaf just means a bigger sandwich, so don’t worry about it. Just ensure your machine is able to bake a little longer than the regular cycle.
Making this bread is REALLY easy. Six ingredients. All in the bread maker. Just follow the instructions and be sure to put the ingredients into the machine in the right order. This Black + Decker model is the machine I use. I am quite fond of it.
8tsp granulated sugar
1 1/2tsp instant or bread machine yeast
1 1/3 cups water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
4 cups flour
2 tsp salt
1. Add sugar, yeast and very warm water to the bread pan. Let stand for 10 minutes or until yeast starts to bubble.
2. Add oil. Spoon flour on top of liquid. Add salt.
3. Select the Basic/White cycle and Light Crust setting and press start.
4. I said it up there, but I’m going to say it again. As with all bread machine recipes, it’s important to add the ingredients in the right order. So it rises nicely like the loaf below.
Along with my dish today I’m glad to be sharing recipe ideas from fellow Canadian blogging friends under the hashtag #CANRecipe. Last month’s comfort food dishes announced the beginning of fall. This month join us as we celebrate Thanksgiving across Canada with delicious food straight from our kitchens.
From the top the dishes are:
Turkey Soup @ The Inspired Home
Apple Bread Pudding with Apple Brandy Caramel Sauce @ Dish ‘n’ the Kitchen
Cumin-scented Baked Acorn Squash @ Maple and Marigold
Seriously The Best Sandwich Bread Ever From @ Mommydo
Sweet Potato Mash With Caramelized Onions @ Allergy Girl Eats
What does your dream kitchen look like? I thought I was living with mine. But as time goes on, I’m finding the dark wood in the middle of our open concept house to be a bit of a black hole. More and more, I seem to be lusting over light grey and white kitchens – with just enough slate and black to add a heap of style without making the area feel too dark.
I threw together a quick mood board which included the new GE Slate gas stove. Not only do I love the colour, but the versatile grills on the top make it a serious cooking machine. I don’t have room for a real ‘6 burner chefs’ range but I’m pretty sure this would make all the imaginary cooking shows I imagine I’m starring in while I’m cooking, shoot to the top of the imaginary cooking show ratings in no time.
I’m also loving yellow these days. I think maybe a little extra sunshine is doing a world of good.
I’m fairly certain it’s going to be years until we can afford to do a full dream kitchen overhaul, but if I had money in the bank and time to contemplate a reno, it would certainly look very much like this.
This is definitely a high-low effort with a premium range, faucet, lighting and designer chairs. I also chose big box store cabinets, flooring and countertops, easy to order framed prints and even a DIY. But I think a dream kitchen should be at least within the realm of reality so it’s perfect for me.
Most can be ordered online too, to make project management a breeze. Enjoy!
I just created these Maple and Oatmeal Ale Pulled Chicken Sliders. We’re entering that shoulder season when you want comfort food, but you’re not ready to give up that BBQ feeling. These fit the bill perfectly.
They have that burger feeling without having to turn on the grill. They’re prefect with Saturday afternoon sides like potato chips, or you can get a little fancier and make some sweet potato wedges. Plus, the beer I used comes in a taller can, so you even have an excuse to have a little beer for lunch if you’re planning on serving these at six.
The inspiration for these sliders comes from The Beeroness.
Maple and Oatmeal Ale Pulled Chicken Sliders
Super Simple Secret Coleslaw
I’m glad to say that starting this month I will be sharing recipe ideas from my Canadian blogging friends under the hashtag #CANRecipe. This month we are celebrating the change of season with fall comfort in the kitchen.
From the top left the dishes are:
Rustic Apple Tart @ <a href=”http://wp.me/p4GYuL-3t“>Red Cottage Chronicles</a>
Spicy Vegetarian Chilli @ <a href=”http://www.allergygirleats.com/spicy-vegetarian-chili/“>Allergy Girl Eats</a>
Indian-inspired Vegetable Pilaf Topped With Crispy Brussels Sprouts @ <a href=”http://www.mapleandmarigold.com/quick-and-easy-rice-dish-vegetable-pilaf“>Maple and Marigold</a>
Maple and Oatmeal Ale Pulled Chicken Sliders @ <a href=”http://wp.me/p79Yv3-Pq“>Mommydo</a>
Mushroom Hand Pies @ <a href=”http://wp.me/p349Vg-1Vp“>Dish ‘n’ the Kitchen</a>
Maple Bacon Mini-doughnuts @ <a href=”http://www.everydayallergenfree.com/home/2016/7/25/food-allergies-maple-bacon-donuts“>Everyday Allergen-Free</a>
Chai-Spiced Apple Sauce, Apple Butter and Apple Leather @ <a href=”https://makinghealthychoices.ca/2016/09/05/chai-apple-sauce-apple-butter-apple-leather/“>Making Healthy Choices</a>
Spaghetti Squash Bake @ <a href=”http://theinspiredhome.org/spaghetti-squash-bake/“>The Inspired Home</a>
Crock Pot Chicken Pot Pie @ <a href=”http://www.itsjustmylife.ca/2016/08/crockpot-chicken-pot-pie.html“>It’s Just My Life</a>
I had the wonderful privilege of attending the WSA Williams Syndrome Convention in Columbus Ohio last week. As the ambassador for Canadian families, I connected with friends made in years’ past and made new friendships with fellow Canadians and with parents and individuals with Williams Syndrome from all over the US.
Attending a big gathering of Williams Syndrome families is exceptionally rewarding. The information presented is invaluable, even if it is a little overwhelming. And the tactics, strategies and trial and error shared by other parents give a real, honest, uplifting and sometimes heartbreaking look into the lives of those who’ve walked this path before you.
Dr. Mervis says it, then she says it and then she says it again. Kids with Williams Syndrome who are taught to read with phonics and only phonics learn to read. Those who aren’t, don’t. I’ll be bringing this up again and again as we enter school this year as reading is big on our list for Alma’s future.
but I’m a bit of a fire cracker, so for me, the important part was know your rights, and use them, not your ragey feelings to make your valid points. As I encounter resistance time and again with my instance on an inclusive education with appropriate support, I am gathering all the laws, policies and support I can to ensure I am seen as someone who is advocated for my daughters rights, not just another “know-it-all-parent trying to bend the system for her special snowflake.”
This is one of the only medical questions I was curious about at the conference. Alma has been well (knock on wood) for the most part, but every now and again I feel like she’s smiling through something. I stopped at the “Doctor is In” table and paid my 5 cents to speak to the wonderful Marty Levinson M.D. about this and he said it was something to be aware of. I’ll keep my guard up and will insist for a little extra investigation next time… so we don’t find ourselves in the ruptured ear drum after infection situation again.
And, ensure the teacher won’t let her ‘cute’ her way out of hard work. I asked Dr. Mervis what I should look for in a teacher and if she had any advice for pre-K teachers of children with Williams Syndrome and that’s what she told me. Our children should be held to high standards. They will respond well to kindness. And they are always trying to duck responsibility and if the teacher lets them, they’ll never achieve their full potential.
This was probably the lesson that has given me the most to think about. While I have a few thoughts that I bring up time and again, I haven’t gone through the process of discussing Alma’s future with my husband and writing down our vision for her in the next few years, for the rest of her school years and for her adult life. As part of the discussion about this vision during an advocacy session, there was some great advice about using it in meetings like IEP meetings to gauge whether the suggestions made by committee were pushing enough. The suggested line was “how are we going to achieve our families vision for our child’s future if she doesn’t have access to _________?” Again, it takes the onus off the ragey parent and ensures the conversation stays centred around meeting and exceeding potential. Love it.
There is also a robust breakfast and a family friendly dinner. These three drinks come in handy after you spend 8 hours concentrating on all the ways you can help your child (and all the other children) reach full potential. You may want to consider staying at one the next time you travel with children.
I look forward to welcoming families from all over North America at the Canadian Association for Williams Syndrome National Conference in Toronto next summer. Although I had to sit out the last 2 sessions due to information overload, I am already filled with questions and am eager to listen and learn from Williams Syndrome experts from all over Canada and the US – parents and professionals alike.
Yes, I said Happy Party. And yes, #WSHappyWalk is about a rare syndrome called Williams Syndrome. A rare syndrome you’ve likely never heard of, unless you’ve ever spent any time in a room with me, and then you’ve probably heard more than you care to about it.
At some point in that conversation you probably thought, “wow, I’m glad that’s not me.” And you likely had to stop yourself from making the pity face. And I get it. Having a child with a rare syndrome that comes with the potential for countless medical challenges – cardio, kidney, gastro, hearing, sight and more, physical challenges, learning difficulties, social challenges and all sorts of other little goodies isn’t a walk in the park…but that doesn’t mean it isn’t also filled with joy.
Our family has small pleasures and belly laughs. We applaud both our kids’ milestones and we challenge those around us to see our daughter with Williams Syndrome through the same lens through which they view every other child. We look for inclusion, and stand up to barriers. I seek out other families walking the same path and am on call for those just starting this journey (even though our journey has only just begun).
I also weep with families whose beautiful children are taken too soon, leaving this world a happier place for having been here.
It is true that it’s much more likely that our children will be taken too soon.
This is why I also work tirelessly to spread awareness and raise funds. Not because my daughter’s syndrome is so sad. But because I can’t bear the thought of all the happiness that is packed into my tiny girl could leave us, unexpectedly, in a sudden event, for no reason except we just don’t know enough about Williams Syndrome.
So please, please join us on Tuesday May 31 as we take to Twitter to raise awareness for Williams Syndrome and spread the word about the #WSHappyWalk.
We’ll be chatting about Happiness, Williams Syndrome , the #WSHappyWalk and how you can help spread awareness. Plus, you could win an iPad mini courtesy of Telus, an Instax mini8 camera from Fujifilm, and more. There is now over $600 in prizes in total.
I’m excited to be attending TheThriveSummit.ca on Monday. When I first made the decision attend this session to learn and share how I #ThriveinMyLife, I was mentally planning my February #ThriveTop5 post early in March. I had an amazing month (don’t worry, I’ll still get the post up there) with all kinds of great #thrive2016 moments.
I was excited about the interactive session, networking and unconference sessions too.
Then life did one of those things life does. My 6-month plan to change my work situation changed for me and I was suddenly there – six months too soon. I wasn’t surprised per se, but #WhatsNext certainly crossed my mind.
That was almost 4 weeks ago. Since then I’ve been working on creating a side business that has nothing to do with my “day job” business, done work with some amazing people, have made time for friends, planned nights out, taken the boy on a little road trip, had drinks on a Monday night (yes Monday!), gone out for a boozy lunch and cooked up a storm.
In trying to find ways to Thrive, I’ve realized some things. These are probably completely obvious to everyone else but I’m going to share them anyway. Just in case someone reading has woken up in the morning and felt a little light inside has gone out and is unsure where to start rekindling the flame.
There are still a few tickets left for the Thrive Summit Conference, so Let’s Thrive Together at The Thrive Summit Conference this Monday.
The conference will help you improve your financial success, set new goals, prioritize your healthy living (including stress management) and increase work life quality, productivity, clarity and focus. Over 20 members of our thrive team (including productivity expert and bestselling author Chris Bailey – Author of the Productivity Project) will leave you inspired, energized and ready to prioritize your health, wellbeing, purpose and work objectives more effectively.
For full details visit our Thrive Agenda
I just watched a video in which you spoke of the tremendous value of the diversity in our public school system. I, too, value the ethnic diversity in my son’s public school in our neighbourhood. Sadly, my daughter won’t get to experience it.
While we have worked tirelessly to include those of every race/ethnicity, culture, religion, gender, social class, and sexual orientation in our schools, kids with disabilities don’t always make the cut…at least not always in the school closest to home. Kids like my daughter are forced to attend schools that can be up to an hour away by bus. My sweet little girl has a rare syndrome called Williams Syndrome. You may recall my mentioning it when we met in the Distillery District in Toronto. Her constellation of challenges and strengths don’t fit with the typical curriculum and our local school doesn’t have adequate support. This means that rather than attending our local school with the kids on our street and her brother, she’ll be bused to another school somewhere in the GTA. We don’t know where she’ll end up. The long process of her placement is just begun and we could be waiting months to hear where she’ll land.
This also means that her sibling will head to school each day, to a school that prides itself on diversity, and never see another child interact with a disabled sibling. He won’t see walkers, wheelchairs, sign language, or kids struggling with profound speech delay. He won’t get to celebrate his sister’s achievements with her Special Olympics teammates at school and he won’t get to have her come and applaud a future science fair project of his. Maybe he’ll unlock a new way to help kids with learning disabilities tell time, or maybe not, since his teachers won’t understand why it matters to him – having never met his sister. The other children in his school will lose the opportunity to interact with exceptional kids like mine and discover how the commonalities they share are more important than any differences between them.
I realize in our mosaic of a nation, we strive tirelessly to celebrate what makes us alike and what makes us different from each other. We are doing an excellent job of raising a generation to pride itself on inclusion. I fear that unless we include kids with disabilities in all schools, we will never truly achieve the diversity you speak of so proudly.
In the video you said “It’s not easy. You can’t do it overnight. A diverse and open and inclusive education system and open circle of friends is what we have to work towards in our communities.” I , and thousands of other parents, need your help now. Help to work on this diverse and open education system with an open circle of friends in my community…and every community. So my kids can go to the same school, have the same friends, belong to the same community.
They too, should benefit from the power of diversity in education in Canada.
You know Thive is a big theme here this year. I just heard about an amazing initiative from Glen Bernard Camp, just west of Algonquin Park that has been created to offer the summer camp experience to 24 girls who have recently arrived from Syria.
When you think of summer in Canada, the cottage, trailer, tent camping and summer camp are such an integral part of our summer culture. I spent every summer with my dad at our cottage (we called it camp up North) fishing, swimming, canoeing and sailing. Those are some of my happiest memories. After all the change, all the unmentionable things these girls have seen this year, I think it is so incredible that they will have the chance to just splash around in the lake, sit by the campfire, bunk in with new friends. They’ll have the chance to Thrive in the most amazing environment while canoeing, sailing, climbing high ropes, enjoying arts and crafts and swimming.
Research has shown summer camp has a real impact on a child’s sense of belonging, self-confidence and esteem. It’s that “sense of belonging” that I think really makes this program special. It’s hard to be a preteen girl. I can only imagine how much harder it is when you’re in a new place, having left just about everything you knew behind.
Glen Bernard for Syria: A Canadian Summer Camp Experience is setting aside 24 spaces at the camp for Syrian girls between the ages of 11 and 13. Jocelyn Palm, the Owner of Glen Bernard Camp and Order of Canada recipient said “This year is our camp’s 95th anniversary. We couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate than by opening our doors to these new campers.”
I agree Jocelyn. Well done.
Private sponsors are encouraged to apply on behalf of girls ages 11‐13 in their Syrian family. Application forms for the program are now available on the Glen Bernard Camp website at gbcamp.com and will be accepted until April 1, 2016.
You won’t have to worry about funding the application. All of the costs for these campers are being covered by Glen Bernard. In addition to covering the camp fees, Glen Bernard will provide supplies and equipment through donations from past and current camp families.